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Obscure '80s Horror Movies You Should Know About

Updated August 30, 2019 36.0k views16 items

There are plenty of '80s horror movies out there that have captivated and scared audiences throughout the years. That also means that some have disappeared and people have either never watched them or forgot about them. There are some obscure '80s horror that are some of the best horror movies, but don't have the biggest audience like Nightmare on Elm Street or Friday the 13th has.

These movies listed have charm, cheese, and many screams to delight fans. The criteria is that they can either be so bad that they are good (the '80s was a good era for that) or that they are just plain good because of the story, effects, or acting.

So if you're looking for something to add to your movie night or bored with the usual fare in the '80s horror realm, you'll then find something that will keep you entertained and of course horrified. Here is a list of 16 of the best horror movies you haven't seen from the 1980s.

  • Video: YouTube

    Turning an old funeral home into a bed and breakfast is never a good idea, especially when your guests start disappearing. It's a lesson that a young woman and her grandmother soon learn enough. It's a mix of a Gothic tale (young woman in peril visiting relatives) and a slasher (crazed lunatic killing off people).  

    So if you are into low-budget and Canadian horror, you really should check out Funeral Home. Kay Hawtrey gives a standout performance as the grandmother with secrets darker than the old family recipes. Also for those who are looking for something tamer, you will find that Funeral Home leans more toward atmosphere than graphic violence. 
  • Video: YouTube

    Night School is an urban slasher, so there's no summer camp here! The killer's victims of choice are college coeds. Considered a video nasty in England, this early entry into the slasher genre will give you second thoughts about traveling to an aquarium and going on merry-go-rounds.  

    Night School was Rachel Ward's screen debut too, so fans of hers will want to check it out. The highlights are in its pacing and the shocking killer reveal at the end. 
  • Video: YouTube

    Possession is perhaps Andrej Zulawski's most well-known film, and for several good reasons. Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill are at the top of their games here, portraying a couple whose relationship is unraveling - but unfortunately, their minds are unraveling as well. One of the best cinematic depictions of the descent into madness out there, with a fantastic synth score, gorgeously bleak cinematography, and a story as insane as its characters, Moreover, the film is set in crumbling, squalid West Germany, and thus it provides an historical document to the Berlin Wall and Germany's former division.   

    For fans of psychological body horror, Possession is a must see. 

    More Possession 

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  • Video: YouTube
    Madman came around the time as Friday the 13th and The Burning, and thus it was overshadowed by its more famous brethren. But genre fans should seek this one out, as it features one of the more brutal slashers, Madman Marz, who may or may not be just an urban legend (though his body count certainly is palpable). Plus, the main theme music (featured in the above trailer) is classic horror synth fare, as good as anything John Carpenter ever composed.